Title: A Minor Inconvenience
Author: Sarah Granger
Published: 14th January 2014
Genre: MM (historical)
Rating: 5 Stars
Captain Hugh Fanshawe returned from the Peninsular War with a leg that no longer works properly, thanks to a French musket ball. Now his fight against Napoleon is reduced to quiet, lonely days compiling paperwork at Horse Guards headquarters.
His evenings are spent dutifully escorting his mother and sister to stifling social engagements, where his lameness renders him an object of pity and distaste. But his orderly, restricted life is thrown into sudden disarray with the arrival of Colonel Theo Lindsay.
Theo is everything Hugh is not—a man of physical perfection and easy yet distinguished address. Surprisingly to Hugh, Theo appears to be interested in making his acquaintance. Lindsay turns out to be a most convivial companion, and Hugh finds great pleasure in his company. Their friendship deepens when they become lovers.
In spite of himself, Hugh falls desperately in love. But when a French spy is suspected at Horse Guards, Hugh discovers nothing is as it seems…and the paper he shuffles from day to day could be the instrument of his lover’s death.
Contains gallant English officers in love, dastardly French spies, skintight pantaloons (sometimes on the floor) and gleaming tasseled Hessians.
Sense and Sensibility meets A Minor Inconvenience ~ I just loved the way this book read; like reading a gay Jane Austen. The style of writing and setting was perfect for a regency style MM romance. For all those who like their historical MM romances, then this book will be just the thing you need. In the best tradition of a sweeping historical background, Sarah sets the scene for a great romance with all the trimmings and style of the regency era. A period that is best known for it’s advances in the arts, architecture and one of great political and social change,
Captain Hugh Fanshawe is back from the Peninsular Wars after being wounded in action and is left with a leg that causes him a great deal of discomfort. He is now reduced to shuffling paperwork around at Horseguards and accompanying his mother and sister to numerous social functions and balls while trying to find a suitor for his sister Sophia. He finds his life terribly boring and unsatisfying. However, the rumours start at Horsegaurds that there is a spy among them who is secretly leaking Wellington’s plans to Napoleon, therefore giving the French the advantage. This is when the beguiling Colonel Theo Lindsay enters, back in the UK from Wellingtons campaign on the continent, he is charming, good looking and keeps turning up everyday wishing to see the Adjutant General. Hugh finds himself more and more attracted to the man and after spotting him in a molly house one evening where he made a hasty retreat upon the fear of discovery has is confirmation that Theo is also interested in men.
Hugh soon becomes close friends with Theo and one evening the barriers break and their relationship blooms into an all encompassing love. It was a long time getting there, but that was OK because in those days being cautious would have been a priority. However, nothing can be as it seems and while Hugh is falling madly in love he receives the news that the spy at Horseguards has been caught and his whole world is thrown for a loop. The first 50% of the book is a slow burn, building up to the relationship and emotions, slowly letting you get into the whole situation and historical mind set, but it keeps you interested and doesn’t let go. You can feel Hugh’s emotional turmoil and second guessing, knowing his feelings went completely against the expectations of society at the time. In this respect Theo makes a nice balance as the more confident of the pair, knowing exactly want he wants and is not afraid to get it. This I liked, as when the proverbial hits the fan then I wasn’t able to put the book down. It was like reading an historical spy novel with all its intrigues and political convolutions.
I would unfortunately be giving to much of the plot away if I were to expand on it further in my review and that would ruin the fun for everyone. There are several great plot twists and turns before the truth comes to light. Hugh and Theo go through a rough patch and the angst of whether their relationship has a chance or not, given the circumstances, is realistically done and kept me on the edge of my seat. Theo is obviously torn between his sense of duty to The Crown but his love for Hugh is real and this is the one thing that is never in doubt. But which one will win, duty or love? Full of beautiful agonising moments where the love is ever present, but circumstances make it almost next to impossible for them to make a go of it. At the end I could breathe once more and they find their fitting HEA for this period and the rest is history so to speak.
I liked the introduction of molly houses into the story to bring across the historical gay flavour at the time. A molly house was an early form of a gay pub and highly illegal, but existed and provided entertainment for those of “the other persuasion.” Molly houses are mainly attributed to early 18thC England and they would have been in decline by the end of the 1700s, if not totally non-existent. However, The Regency period was mainly known for it’s dandies too, gentlemen who were known for being extravagant in dress, behaviour and breaking all the excepted rules of the accepted dress code of the time. Being correctly dressed for the occasion was a must in this period and I loved the way Sarah brings this across in her book. What I find interesting here is that by the end of the 1800s the word “dandy” in America became “dude” the most famous dude being Evander Berry Wall. So the word “dude” is not a modern day lexical invention by no means and I find it funny that it was a term used for extravagant, effeminate, Oscar Wilde types of the day. If only most young people knew that fact today, maybe it wouldn’t be so cool dude – lol! Anyway, I’m side tracking, sorry….history lesson finished……
The story is intricate and beautifully written. The writing style and use of English sets the atmosphere perfectly and must have been an incredible feat for Sarah to stay in this regency style of writing and language. Just getting the entomology of words correct must have involved an incredible amount of research. I was swept away to a period of chivalry, the conversations were perfectly scored and I could just imagine being there listening to the art of conversation at this time. Even the sex scenes are beautifully written with no use of the modern vulgar we use today, as the use of words such as cock, cum, pucker, etc. would have been totally out of keeping for a novel of this sort. Wonderfully done!
This is what I love about historical novels they transport you to another time. Getting the back drop right is so important and Sarah has obviously put a lot of research into her book and got it exactly right, a rare commodity indeed in this sub-genre. So I can only sing Sarah’s praises here, but to incorporate a thoroughly believable MM romance and an espionage plot into the bargain as well, all I can say is this book is highly commendable. Oh and one more small point, I LOVE the cover art ~ brilliant!
About The Author
Sarah Granger is a sucker for a happy ending. She believes, however, that characters will only fully appreciate their happy ending if they’ve suffered along the way.
Sarah lives in the Cotswolds, an idyllic part of the English countryside with gently rolling hills, dry stone walls of golden stone, and fields dotted with sheep. She has shamefully broken with local tradition by not having a rose growing around her front door. When she isn’t writing, Sarah enjoys walking in the countryside with her elderly and affectionate black Labrador.
Contact The Author
Sarah will be giving away one ebook copy of A Minor Inconvenience.
Enter the draw below. Good Luck!!